EJ Obiena nails Tokyo 2020 Olympics berth

Beatrice Go
The Filipino pole vaulter resets his Philippine record for the third time this year to secure a maiden Olympics stint

QUALIFIED. EJ Obiena makes the Tokyo 2020 Olympics cut. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena secured a Tokyo 2020 Olympics berth in a golden performance at the 2019 Salto Con L’asta in Chiari, Italy on Tuesday, September 3 (Wednesday, September 4, Philippine time). 

Obiena smashed his own Philippine record as he cleared 5.81m that also surpassed the Olympic entry standard of 5.80m. 

Finally I have done what I set out to do and this is not just my efforts. It’s a lot of people who contributed and made this happen and this is why this make it so sweet,” Obiena told Rappler after becoming the first Filipino to qualify in the Tokyo edition.



The 23-year-old also attempted the height of 5.93m to eclipse the all-time Asian record of 5.92m held by Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich. 

Obiena already surpassed his own record twice in April and July this year, boosting his bid for a 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold. 

The pole vault star missed out on the 2017 edition of the regional biennial meet after sustaining an ACL injury a day before leaving for Kuala Lumpur. (Back to zero: EJ Obiena gears up for pole vault comeback– Rappler.com


Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.